By Brandon Yung
A new social emotional program called Train Your Brain is being put into effect to help students cope with stress in the classroom environment. Dr. Dennis Lefevre, the SPUSD director of Special Education and Student Services, designed the program, which will be taught to district faculty. The program’s goal is to incorporate stress reduction exercises for teachers and students in the classroom. It is projected to be fully integrated into the high school curriculum by the end of next year.
A survey conducted this the summer concluded that some of the biggest issues facing students in South Pasadena include stress, motivation, relationships, and depression. The Train Your Brain program was conceived by district faculty to counteract these problems.
A forum for the newly integrated Train Your Brain program was hosted in the high school library on October 26, detailing the rollout of the social, emotional, and behavioral care program. The forum focused on informing parents about what the program’s goals.
“We hope to successfully implement an attitude of positivity, and hopefully give students better coping skills in the high pressure environment that is school,” Lefevre said. Lefevre explained that staff members who showed interest in applying the program’s techniques took part in seminars and meetings led by Michael Geisser, an expert in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support, a program created by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education.
“In a nutshell, what we’re trying to accomplish is to recognize when students are doing the right thing, as opposed to catching them not doing the stuff they’re supposed to be doing all the time,” Train your Brain specialist Natasha Prime said.
Prime is in charge of the program’s high school implementation.